The United States is home to some of the world’s most impressive engineering feats, and the largest earthen dam in the US is no exception. An earthen dam is a structure made from soil, clay, and other natural materials that is used to store water or control flooding.
The largest earthen dam in the United States is the Oroville Dam, located in northern California. It stands 770 feet tall and stretches 6,920 feet across the Feather River. This dam was completed in 1968, making it the tallest dam in the United States and the tallest earthen dam in the world. It is capable of holding a maximum of 3.5 million acre-feet of water, making it one of the largest reservoirs of water in the country.
The Oroville Dam is a crucial part of the California water system, providing water for agricultural, industrial, and residential uses across the state. In addition to providing water, the Oroville Dam also helps prevent flooding and provides recreational opportunities, such as fishing, boating, and swimming.
Despite its impressive size, the Oroville Dam is not without controversy. In 2017, the dam was nearly breached due to heavy rains and a damaged spillway. This led to the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people from the area, as the dam was in danger of releasing a large amount of water that could have caused significant damage downstream.
Fortunately, no major damage occurred as a result of the 2017 incident, and the dam has since been repaired and stabilized. Today, the Oroville Dam remains the largest earthen dam in the United States and still plays an important role in the California water system.